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General [M]ayhem, nicknamed by its users Genmay or the "[M]", is a message board containing general discussion forums; its title aptly describing the character of these discussions. Unlike most internet forums, General Mayhem has very few rules, and allows everything, including the most moronic or hateful posts imaginable - posts that would usually result in permanent banning if posted on other forums. This is part of the fun, however, for the forum-goers. Genmay is currently one of the largest message boards on the Internet, with over 14,000,000 posts (considering the relatively small amount of registered users), being already at the top of those based on vBulletin software.
General Mayhem is leniently administrated by two members - "mrtwo" (spelled M|22) and Sanjay - who add features whenever convenient. However, General Mayhem is mostly moderated by its users in the form of a unique paid-banning service which generates income for the forum and culls the obnoxious at the same time. Recently, Genmay has implemented a new donation system, allowing automated changes of usernames (name-rape), thread subject lines, user titles, user avatars, along with automated banning and the ever-popular h-mode (essentially, some creative scripting makes browsing genmay a slow and tedious process for the h-moded user). These are also used as secondary forms of punishment, or in some cases, rewards.
The forum tends to segregate users based upon their userid, which were assigned to them upon joining. The general rule is that the higher the UserID is, the newer the user. Beyond that, trial by fire rules apply. The group of users who made this discrimination popular was the 10,000's who had so little content that very few remain today as active posters. As of March 2005, the usercount is past 20,000 and while the newer members are not considered as bad by some, the lack of a control system has, by the estimate of regulars, made the average quality of a post go down significantly. Recently, the usercount has also passed 30,000.
Genmay's posting follows a daily cycle to a far greater degree of precision than most forums. Most posters being in North America, most posts are made during the daylight hours, giving the forum its greatest burdens around the noon and evening hours. Posting then sharply falls off around 1-2am PST, at which point the "Nite Krew", a much smaller and more tightly-knit group, takes over. Nite Krew posting tends to contain less spam than its daylight equivalent, as the threads that were pushed to the top in the evening slowly get culled into a small group of active ones, while the rest are left abandoned until the next morning. There is often a central theme crossing over between threads at night, and almost always a central "Nite Krew Thread" that serves as a guestbook.
The discussion board is divided up into sub-forums as follows:
General [M]ayhem - This is the main forum which shares its name with the site. This forum is for posting anything (hence the name), however, posting something which clearly belongs in another forum will usually result in useless replies telling the thread starter that it should have been posted in the proper forum. Typical features of General [M]ayhem are shock site pictures, spamming, buttsechs, mansechs, and shenanigans or shens, played on both fellow users and outsiders. Newer members posting in Genmay are open to replies of hatred(what are referred to as thread snipes) upon any thread failing to entertain them; however, it is rare for older members to do similar, either because they have become jaded to such expressions, or because the ones that did so eventually attracted the attention of mods and were banned or sent to the KC. This is one of the causes for discrimination against higher UIDs; they are considered to have not yet been properly filtered out through the system. Cleverly crafted thread sniping, however, can "save" a thread whose original topic was of little value.
CompuGlobalHyperMegaNet - (CGHMN for short) This forum is for posting anything computer and electronics related. CGHMN is home to many professionals (and would-be professionals) working in these areas and as a result has a much higher rate of factual discussion than other forums. The games forum, likewise, is home to some very hardcore gamers, some of whom hardly look at any of the other forums. The name of this forum is based on an episode of The Simpsons where Homer decides to start his own ISP.
Games - This forum used to reside in CGHMN as a subforum. The popularity of this forum has warranted a shift to the main page. As the name implies, it is for the discussion of electronic games, whether it be PC, console, handhelds, or some other form. The usual staple of gamer holy wars is generally not present.
The moderation of this forum has been a regular source of controversy on the site because of its relatively subjective nature. For example, the debate over exactly how many threads a single game should be allowed to have spilled over into a user vote for a new moderator.
Automotive [M]ayhem - If it has a combustion engine, it is probably posted about in this forum. People in AutoMay are known to be highly opinionated, and very adamant about these opinions, eg. positive opinions about automatic transmissions and front wheel drives are not received well.
Dangerous Toys - A forum purchased by user 'wolf' for discussion of guns, knives, paintball, air soft, and other weapons.
Photography and i[M]aging - Like the name suggests, a new forum specifically made for the discussion of imaging, photography and cameras.
Altered [M]inds - The latest forum addition used for discussion of drug related subject matter. Until now, "drug threads" as they're called were posted in the main forum. Typical user replies to these threads consisted of "drugs are bad mmkay" and "420 smoke weed everyday!" before resorting into an anti-drug flamewar. The new forum is strictly moderated to keep discussion mature and to promote education about drug use.
The Pit - The forum for any heated debate, where flaming and ad hominem arguments are usual responses, though they are expected to come with real arguments. Usually home to political, religious, conspiracy theory, and racial discussions. It is also the home of callouts, where two members may debate publicly over a disagreement. Callouts can be over real life disagreements between members or simple attempts to destroy someone's credibility. The most common use of the Pit is for discussion of opinions on news items.
Bone Closet - Serious discussions about relationships and social interaction, sex, and personal fitness. Like the games forum, sometimes considered a forum within a forum; many users who post here do not post in the other forums often. In contrast to the General Mayhem, this forum is strictly moderated, and only mature and sensible replies are allowed. Spamming and personal attacks are strictly forbidden within this forum and will usually result in banishments if posted.
Babe Forum - A forum for posting pictures of beautiful women (and sometimes men). Pornographic material is strongly prohibited.
Premium [M]embers Only - Also referred to as the P[M]O and formally called Adult Eye Candy, this is a hidden forum for posting pornographic pictures and videos. A $10USD donation is required for admission, but female members can get free entry if they plan to post self-portraits. Also contains a subforum called Penis Palace (Abbreviated PP) where male forum users are encouraged to post pictures of themselves.
Deals and Steals - Generally the least viewed subforum on the site, this is where members can sell and buy various things from each other.
Kiddie Corral - (KC for short) A forum where banned users are allowed to post, while this is better than being banned altogether it's very undesired, as there are very few posters to talk with and very little in the way of entertaining content(unless "why was I banned" threads are entertainment). This forum used to also have a very annoying layout and color scheme; it was lost in a forum software upgrade but returned several months later. Non-banned users may also post in the KC, but for obvious reasons they rarely go there.
Vault of [M]ayhem - Notable and otherwise funny posts are kept in here for archival and easy access, it is often suggested that newbies read this forum in order to understand some of the references used on General [M]ayhem. Once a thread is "vaulted" it cannot be posted in anymore. Often members will sarcastically request this for a poor thread.
One complaint some users, especially newer ones, have about the current set of sub-forums is that a lot of serious or obscure threads are "doomed to death" by being only suitable for Genmay - where they are quickly spammed off-topic. Others take this as part of the atmosphere, and feel that only the most popular threads should survive, and new subforums would only "dilute the [M]ayhem."
History Of General Mayhem
General [M]ayhem was founded after the event known to some as the Great Hissy-Fit. The owner and Head Editor of HardOCP, Kyle Bennett (affectionately known as Kyle Bannit due to his propensity to ban users) ran the original General [M]ayhem on his forum called the [H]ardForum, but during a hardware upgrade it evidently caused so many problems in re-indexing the forum database he decided to delete it with no warning, and ban any user who spoke against the decision.
Three forum members jumped on the idea of creating a new forum for the displaced community. FLECOM registered Genmay.com, M|22 registered Genmay.net, and James Crivellone registered Genmay.Org. The first controversy happened when the 3 domains were consolidated into one forum run on M|22's computer, a dual Pentium 3 which was frequently unable to handle the load that was required, and a question of ownership and control came up between the 3 leaders of the forum. Flecom was eventually de-admined "from [his] own fucking forum" and disappeared from the site. JC gave up his control over the domain and left as well. The control of the forum currently rests in the hands of M|22 and another administrator, Sanjay. The site is now owned and operated by General Mayhem, LLC.
The forum is notorious for being dependant on a group of hardware owners that bicker and often outright dislike each other. The site utilizes a total of seven servers. Three new frontend servers and one new database server belong to the company, of which M|22 owns 51% and Sanjay owns 49%. The old database server belongs to Click46, who constantly threatens to charge for its use or scrub it clean. The two old frontend servers (one of which is now a test server for new scripts and ideas) belong to Digital Mocking. The positions of these four in the power hierarchy have been known to fluctuate significantly when controversy erupts between them. Yet somehow General Mayhem has not seen a downtime period longer than a day in years.